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Maple vs. Rosewood fretboard on Telecasters

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by telecustom88, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. strat123

    strat123 TDPRI Member

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    Rosewood or Maple?

    I play strat's and tele's for both I find rosewood to work better for me. Most of it has to do with the fact that my left hand feels more comfortable with a rosewood finger board. I have a maple tele for variety but my preference leans toward rosewood, but that's me.
     
  2. Earth

    Earth Tele-Meister

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    I don't like rosewood fingerboards at all. I like a neck that's totally covered in poly or lacquer. Interesting that aftermarket necks are usually cheaper if you get the rosewood option.
     
  3. Rich724

    Rich724 Tele-Meister

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    Ebony for me on my Tele and Strat Partscasters.
     
  4. JayJ

    JayJ Tele-Afflicted

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    ..
     

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  5. Tom-Australia

    Tom-Australia Tele-Meister

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    This was a very interesting discussion to read (minus the arguments!). A guitar forum discussing only facts would be a pretty boring place.

    My view is that we only have a finite number of notes to work with on a guitar and it takes no great skill to play any one of them. The beauty of our instrument comes from the tone and one player may get wonderful tone from a RW and struggle to extract something similar from maple. A blind test may not make it discernible but that doesn't mean there's not a subtle difference. Add to that the fact that we all perceive things differently and it seem obvious that there is no right or wrong answer in this debate. I think tone is analogous to cloud-shapes. We can be looking at the same thing but where I see a unicorn you might see a power-drill.

    I've been playing a glossy maple strat for about 12 years. I just got a RW Tele. Right now I love the look and feel of RW because it's a nice change. Who knows what I will like in 5 years though I think I'll be pretty happy to have both. I suspect most peoples tastes and preferences will change more than once over a lifetime of trying to master the guitar.

    As for my personal view - there's not enough of a difference for it to be a key factor in decision making. Go for what looks and feels right to you. Amp, volume/tone settings, plectrum type, fingernail length, string gauge and type - all of these things influence tone more than fretboard species in my humble opinion. Not to mention experience and natural ability...
     
  6. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Tele-Holic

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    I have maple on my tele and rosewood on my G400. I prefer the maple by a miniscule amount.
     
  7. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'll try and remember that. If you ask for information on Telecaster related stuff, you'll get no facts from me ... :D
     
  8. ct_anthony

    ct_anthony Tele-Meister

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    In my experience maple has a more pronounce snap and faster attack when "slapping" the strings, a little bit more bite. Rosewood stays a little bit more "polite". Despite that I could not attribute any tonal difference explicitly to the fret board material.
     
  9. Tom-Australia

    Tom-Australia Tele-Meister

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    Telemarkman, as long as your opinions match mine exactly I think we'll get along just fine :twisted:

    FYI our favourite band is The Stone Roses.
     
  10. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Message received.
     
  11. xland

    xland Tele-Meister

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    I am a maple fretboard kind of guy. But that being said, I would never rule out buying a guitar with a rosewood fretboard. How is that for a squirrely answer?
     
  12. BariTele

    BariTele Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]

    Stirring the pot...

     
  13. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear a difference, but it could be due to other factors. Still, this video basically demonstrates the small difference that I've often heard between maple and RW boards.

    To me, rosewood has sort of a slightly slower attack on the treble. It makes the notes sound slightly 'softer' or possibly more 'chirpy' or 'chunky' sounding on the attack. I dont think I'm the only one who's had similar experiences.
    My theory is that the open pores and oily ness of rosewood contributes to the 'softer' or 'slower' attack in the treble frequencies, even though it's a harder wood. When you compare an even denser, tight grained wood like ebony, it sounds even sharper on the attack and 'brighter' IMO. The differences are still rather small, but they're there if you've got open ears.
     
  14. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    maple sounds better
     
  15. BariTele

    BariTele Tele-Meister

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    I hear a difference too, but I'm willing to concede that there may be other variables at play in the video. It might also be my own confirmation bias. :oops:

    For me, the "tone of X" debates are helpful in as much as they can narrow the search for the gear that gets me the sound in my head. Sometimes components contribute to the sound of an instrument just as I would expect, other times I'm surprised. It's good to experiment and nudge your sound to your ideal. I try to stay open to new things and proceed with the understanding that my tastes or discernment may change.
     
  16. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    My eyes like rosewood, my fingers like rosewood. My ears... either one.
     
  17. wahscoot

    wahscoot Tele-Meister

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    Easy...buy both.:idea:
     
  18. BlondeBombshell

    BlondeBombshell TDPRI Member

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    I can't really hear a difference between rosewood and maple so for me it's all about feel (sometimes looks - maple looks better on Teles and Strats IMO) and glossy maple fretboards feel better to me.
     
  19. unccivil

    unccivil Tele-Meister

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    Me too... I think I played a rosewood neck for so long that my coordination gets screwy on a maple board. I go with rosewood or ebony. I usually pair ebony boards with humbuckers on guitars I build, but I have no idea if it makes any real difference sound wise.

    In the context of being primarily a rhythm guitarist in a larger band that usually plays in venues with terrible acoustics and amateur sound people, I'm quite certain maple vs rosewood had no discernible tonal effect.
     
  20. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Notice that the video didn't specifically tell us which was which! :eek:

    So far, it's taken 10 pages for the collective wisdom of this forum to conclude:

    • Some people prefer maple
    • Some people prefer rosewood
    • Some people prefer other woods
    • Some people don't care

    Genius!
     
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